Climb Mt Warning for stunning coastal and mountain views
When you stay at Mt Warning Retreat you’re just 5 minutes by car to Wollumbin National Park, where the popular Mt Warning climb starts. The round trip is 8.8km and should take you around 4-5 hours. While the track is suitable for most fitness levels, the final section to the viewing platform is a steep rocky incline with a chain railing to assist climbers.
The closest townships to the start of the Mt Warning climb are Uki and Murwillumbah. From 1 person to groups up to 20, Mt Warning Retreat has local, friendly, and affordable Accommodation.
Tips before you climb Mt Warning
Start climbing early. The temperature in the early hours will be more pleasant in the summer and during the winter be aware that it gets dark early. At the half-way point you will see a Winter Warning advising, for safety reasons do not proceed to the summit if the time is later than 1 o’clock. Darkness on the return journey has led to people becoming lost, and to costly rescues.
Mt Warning is the first place the sun hits in Australia, and many people come to be on the summit before sunrise. This requires leaving the guest house for the trail head 3 hours ahead of sunrise. Check the local sunrise time to plan your get up time. The rewards are glimpses of glow worms and glow fungi when you turn your torches off, camaraderie with others on top in the predawn, and spectacular sunrise views.
What to take
Sturdy shoes that will get you through some rocks, dust, or mud. At 1000m the temperature can be changeable and cold, so a jumper and/or raingear may be appropriate (especially in winter, or if hiking up for the dawn). A backpack can be handy to organize and carry your goodies (food, water, camera, warm clothing). Plenty of water is essential and a sandwich, snack or fruit will replenish your energy when you reach the top. Those sensitive to insect bites should spray or apply repellents before the climb. Don’t forget a reliable torch for each person climbing before sunrise. And even if you are not doing a predawn hike, it’s always sensible to bring a mini torch, just in case.
What not to take
Your mobile phone will not work at Mt Warning so unless you want to keep it as a watch or take pictures with it, you might consider not taking it. Cars have been broken into, so do not leave valuables in your car. Don’t take anything that can turn into rubbish – and if you do, please bring all your rubbish out in your bag or pocket.
Be prepared. Bring some rain protection and shoes that will not slip on rock or mud if rain threatens. Do not give up on the climb for a light rain. The climb is transformed by the rain and moisture into a lush tropical environment full of clean water streamlets, misty treetops, and views of clouds and rainbows. Do not climb during the heavy rains or in a thunderstorm – this is especially important during the last section where you’re mostly holding onto a metal chain. While rare, lightning can strike on a stormy mountain.
Towards the top
The Mt Warning trail has ample rewards short of reaching the top. There are several viewpoints with platforms or benches from about the halfway point and above. These are great places to rest, enjoy the quiet, the views, the birds, and wild turkeys. Some will find the last steep section with chains scary to climb. There is a wooden bench at the base of this section for a rest, or to wait while the rest of the team returns. Children will most likely be braver than their parents, however keep an eye on them and make sure they are constantly in sight of an adult. Once you reach the top get your camera ready and hope it’s not too cloudy!